In 2014, Scout, a “multidisciplinary design and development firm with a background in transforming vacant and underutilized spaces in creative ways” acquired the Bok building in South Philadelphia. The huge building had been a public vocational school. Today the building houses art studios, a daycare, a bike repair shop, several restaurants and a number of small businesses.
Situated in the school’s former tool library, Two Persons Coffee, owned by Adam Gery and architect Whitney Joslin, was designed with respect for the space, its former inhabitants and the building’s namesake, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and editor Edward Bok, who wrote the novel “Two Persons.”
Furniture (old lab tables) and objects (school sports trophies, globes, etc.) were salvaged to decorate the cafe. Green plants and a large window welcoming swathes of sunlight brighten the mood. And the playlist, from jazz to electronic, is fantastic. I often grade papers in coffee shops and the music here is just right for studying, quiet conversations, or simply listening.
Of course, we also go for the coffee, and Gery, formerly of Last Drop Coffee, is a master barista. I favor a cappuccino and his are superb.
Tasty pastries from Machine Shop Boulangerie next door are available as are a selection of teas and locally sourced and rotating coffee beans. There is also a printing station.
After coffee, check out the Bok directory to see what else strikes your fancy in the building and pick up an event calendar! It’s a creative hub.